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Stone Tools Reveal Humans Lived in Britain 700,000 Years Ago

  1. Dec 17, 2005 #1


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    Staff: Mentor


    James Owen
    for National Geographic News, December 16, 2005

    Thanks to Orstio (everything-science) for discovering this article.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2005 #2
    That suggests to me there are probably alot of good sites at the bottom of the English Channel we can't get to.
  4. Dec 17, 2005 #3


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    Gold Member

    Thats an interesting find. Thanks for sharing it.

    There are a few that we can get to actually. Trawlers can pick up some pretty interesting stuff. Check out Andre's posts in this thread:
  5. Dec 17, 2005 #4


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    Dearly Missed

    The article says the humans in question are thought to have been homo heidelbergensis. If I recall correctly these were an archaic form of modern homo, with chins but heavy brow ridges, that may have been ancestral (or not) to both neanderthals and sapiens.
  6. Dec 17, 2005 #5
    I actually read that thread back when it was new. I'd forgotten about it, but that must be why this idea popped into my head first thing.

    I was thinking that any human artifacts found on the former land bridge would be alot easier to date.
  7. Dec 17, 2005 #6
    I think it is saying that the previous earliest found are believed to belong to Heidelbergensis:

    "Previously the oldest evidence for human settlement in northern Europe came from fossilized teeth and bones found in England and Germany.

    Those remains are thought to belong to the species Homo heidelbergensis."

    They don't seem to actually try to pin these newly discovered, much older ones on a particular homonid. It doesn't seem they've found actual human fossils with the artifacts to give them a lead.
  8. Dec 18, 2005 #7
    Are they sure there Homo Saphines or If there some eariler species of Human like the Neandthals or somthing?

    I never knew that hippos lived in Britain:confused: The Elephants might be Mamnthos or a realtive to it.
  9. Dec 18, 2005 #8


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    I had read about hippos in Europe. Did you know that camels used to live in what is now the United States?
  10. Dec 18, 2005 #9
    There's an island off the coast of California up near Santa Barbara where they have discovered the fossilized remains of a race of miniature wooly mamoths. Instead of being elephant-sized, they're only about as tall as horses, and they only existed on that particular island.

    They figure they spread over there on a land bridge as normal mammoths, then became an isolated population when the peninsula became an island. Somehow the smaller ones faired much better in that environment and got continually selected untill the whole bunch of them were "pygmy" mammoths.

    I think it's avery common mistake to misunderstand the concept "survival of the fittest" to mean survival of the strongest, most powerful. It actually means survival of the variations best suited to the environmental change.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  11. Dec 18, 2005 #10
    I think there's probably general agreement that that far back, 700,000 years ago, there were no homo sapiens anywhere. It is even way too early for Neanderthals. Neanderthals don't start showing up untill about 230,000 years ago.

    If the date they've given these tools is accurate, then they are 470,000 years older than the oldest Neanderthal fossils we've found.
  12. Dec 18, 2005 #11


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    I have to wonder if those dates are accurate. This is the first I have heard of "amino acid geochronology", but apparently is relatively well accepted.

    Furthermore, I would imagine that these "stone age" people came from somewhere else - from or through continental Europe, and then what about Asia and Africa.
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